Friday, March 23, 2007

Who's your Turtle?

So tonight, the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes out in theaters.

Let’s be honest, it won’t win very many awards.

It might not make that much money.

There may not even be that much of a plot.

But it will still be significant for many people.

We were talking about the Turtles at dinner tonight and (I think I am on to something with this) every guy in their 20’s is a fan of the Turtles. If you are in this demographic you know what I mean. You love the Turtles!

Every guy that I know has a favorite Ninja Turtle. I took a very unscientific survey tonight as people were leaving dinner. Every guy had a favorite.

The guys who liked Leonardo liked him because he was the leader.

The guys who liked Rafael liked him because he was sarcastic and tough.

The guys who liked Michelangelo liked him because he was the party animal

The guys who like Donatello liked him because he was always making things.

These were the answers. It isn’t just that guys had a list of things that they said and I just grouped them together, these were pretty much the answers that everybody said.

Across the board.

We have four different personalities represented here: the tough guy, the good guy/leader, the party animal, and the thinker/philosopher/engineer. This is just an observation that I have made, but I think that the Turtle that you like is in some way the person that you see your self as or the person that you want to be.

Now I am probably thinking way to hard about the Turtles, but this is just something I have observed.

It’s uncanny! Wait, that’s not the Turtles.

What do you think? What Turtle is your favorite?

Monday, March 05, 2007

"our tomb is empty"

Sunday night, I was watching the "unveiling" of the Family Tomb of Jesus. In case you haven’t heard, there is a pseudo-archeologist who claims to have discovered the Tomb that Jesus was buried in with his family. Now I didn't realize a few things #1 Jesus had a family and #2 that he was still in the ground, but this is what the program said was the case.

26 years ago, a construction crew unearthed a family tomb. They called archeologists and when they arrived they found an ossuary (or a burial box, that holds the bones of a dead person) with the name “Jesus son of Joseph” written on the side. Also in the tomb were 9 other ossuaries, four (4) others with names.

Along with the name “Jesus son of Joseph,” archeologists found inscriptions that they claim to be that of Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Matthew (supposedly a relative of Mary), and Jude (here’s the kicker-Jesus son). Now these names are all from long chains of assumption and bad interpretations of both Biblical texts and extra-Biblical texts (specifically a 4th century Gnostic Gospel).

Needless to say, as I watched this program I was shocked by the claims that they made. They said that

1.) Jesus body in all probability was not resurrected.
2.) This find also gives strong evidence that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married.
3.) Jesus and Mary had a son – and that this son was the disciple that Jesus loved.
4.) That this find is where the James ossuary is from.

The theological reprocussions are limitless as everything that they claim is against the greater tradition of the church, and contests the Biblical account. You have to force your way into the text to find what they are trying to prove.

The show was about as unscientific as you can get, as everything was done halfway. One of the guys that I watched it with made the observation that he could have done more with the evidence than they did. Literally, it was almost comical to see how many errors and poor assumptions (which we all know what assuming does) that the team made during the course of their work.

The show was a 2-hour special and it could have been cut down to about 30 minutes, and we would have learned the same amount of information. The majority of the documentary (if you can call it that) was spent on tasks, conversations, and entire scenes that had almost no relevance to the findings. It was that poorly put together.

All of the actual archeologists that were interviewed during the show, and in the hour-long critical conversation afterwards were highly critical of the findings. Taking turns they all pointed out the flaws in the process, the statistics, and the assumptions that were so confidently made.

In one of the scenes, the crew was trying to look into an enclosed tomb by looking down an air pipe, (placed their by order of rabbis, so that the souls of the people in the tomb would not be trapped) when they discovered that it was in fact the wrong tomb. The tomb that they were looking had all the bone boxes removed, and this one was still full of the ossuaries.

When the crew learned that this tomb was still full, one of the crewmembers made the remark, "Our tomb is empty!" To which I replied, "So is ours."

Peace be with you

Friday, March 02, 2007

balla Jesus

So I was checking out facebook the other day when I found this picture (Actually it wasn't this picture, it was this picture with the text: "Jesus says: Get that (beep) outta here!"). Now come to find out this picture was not made by people trying to make fun of people, but it was made by Christians (here's the Jesus Statues)

I'm sure that this figurine was made by well intending people. I'm sure that they had good intentions for doing what they did, but come on...Jesus playing basketball? (and there are more figures of Jesus playing other sports) Yes Jesus loved kids, and I'm sure that he played with them, but this is not the image of Jesus in the Bible. Let's look at a few images that we see of Jesus in the Bible.

Jesus was a teacher.
When you look at the person of Jesus and what he did for most of the time in the Gospels, you see a teacher. There is some scholarly cantor back and forth, but it can be argued that Jesus was some form of rabbi. Rabbis or teachers were the teachers of the Torah, and they spent the majority of their time teaching and conversing about the text.

His 12 disciples were his primary students. They literally followed him around and he taught them how to teach his message.

Jesus definitely had a message and a new way of understanding the Scriptures. People followed him all over the countryside to hear his teachings. They couldn’t get enough of his teachings.

This is one of the images of Jesus.

Jesus was a revolutionary.

Jesus would have been considered a revolutionary. Just not in the way that we often think of revolutionaries. Jesus taught his disciples how to be a different type of revolutionary. What do I mean?

Now at the time of Jesus there was a group of people called zealots. These guys said that God would protect and provide for them if they rebelled against the Romans. So they constantly were waging war against the establishment. They committed violent acts against Roman guards and any person who collaborated with their rule.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was the Jewish aristocracy, an elite minority who were placed in power by the Romans, they tried to do everything in their power to keep the Romans happy. Now these people were very anti-Zealots and helped the Romans out in whatever way they could. This small group of people actually included the Jewish priests and their community-known as the Sadducees.

Now Jesus came to the forefront of the political debate. He called the Jewish leaders out and said that they were wrong for the way that they gave into the Romans. While he stood up against the Sadducees, he was not like the Zealots. He said that the establishment was corrupt and evil. Through subversive teachings he led his followers in ways that would undermine the way of life that was status quo in the first century.

So Jesus was a revolutionary.

Jesus was crucified because he stood up for the marginalized:

As Jesus stood to those in power and he angered them, so they killed him.. They hung him on a cross between two men who were political subversives. His execution replaced the execution of a Jewish insurgent who had actually lead a rebellion. Why?

He stood up for the people who were in bondage. He told the Sadducees and the Chief Priests that they were blind dogs and that he was proclaiming a new kingdom. When you are in power and hear somebody saying that they are coming with a new kingdom, you get a bit nervous. Now when that person begins to raise support, when people begin to follow him, you begin to think of ways to end this problem, which is what they did.

Jesus was preaching in the temple and he began to call the Temple authorities out for the way that they were running the temple. He condemned them and the people who were being oppressed must have heard the marvelous news anxiously. Somebody was standing up for them against the people that were oppressing them.

So they killed him, on a cross. Because he stood up for the marginalized, they killed him.

This is the image of Jesus in the Bible. He was a real person who stood up for real issues and dealt with the same stuff people we stand up for today. This is why Jesus playing basketball seems to fall short.

Get to know the Jesus in the Bible, not the Jesus playing basketball.